We all know you as the The Queen of Arts, the title of your blog. Can you tell me how that name came about?
When I was thinking about starting a blog and looking for a blog name, the phrase “Queen of Arts” came to me. I was just starting to call myself an “artist”, I was teaching some art classes at a local paper craft store and the name just fit with who I am. “The Queen of Arts” was to be my kind of quirky, super arty on-line personality! I like it when people make a mistake, and call me “Queen of Hearts” sometimes too. I am all about the LOVE !
Tell me a little bit about yourself. What is a typical day like for
Well, I live in New Hampshire in a cozy yellow house with my husband, David and my furry kids, Chica, the yellow lab and Azzy and Boo, my two male cats. Life is pretty simple around here. I am lucky enough to not have to work outside of the home right now and spend my time delving into my Artist Self. David and I don’t have children so we get to spoil ourselves with space and time in our house. I am so grateful to have a nice bright studio, all to myself, full of arty toys and my laptop! That is where I spend a lot of my days, playing, creating art, bopping to tunes, blogging and even paint rocks !
How do you express your creativity? What are you the most
My most important artistic activity would have to be my art journal. I started my visual art journal back when I was going through a difficult time with depression and it became an important part of my healing and well-being. And it continues to be so. When I am “playing” in my journal, I have learned to let go of the inner critic. I am creating for no one but myself. I am allowed to make ugly art (and believe me sometimes I do!) and express whatever I want to express. Very little of my art expression is actually negative. I seem to get into a meditation kind of mode, where I can refocus from negative thoughts in my head to the positive and love-filled person I want to be. I often say that journaling, getting lost in the color, words, textures and tools, is my cheapest and best form of therapy. I know it is good for my Soul !
You’re also known as the Rock Fairy? Could you tell us the story of how that happened? How has it changed your life?
The story of how I became the Rock Fairy has been share a few times on my blog. It goes like this :
“ Not so long ago, I was lost in a place of real isolation and loneliness. On a day of desperation, I asked for help from the Universe. I said "Look, I am drowning here. I don't know what I am doing on this planet. Please help me. Tell me what to do."
The unexpected answer came in the form of a video called "girls who rock"(this video is no longer available) on a blog called The Dancing Mermaid. The video by McCabe showed a wonderful summer creativity camp she had organized for young girls. It showed the girls painting these gorgeous brightly colored rocks with words of inspiration and connection for one another. After I watched the video a couple of times and cried at its magic and beauty, and told McCabe how incredible I thought she was through a comment on her blog, I was pushed by everything in me to paint some rocks of my own. I actually had a bucket of smooth stones from the beach under my desk waiting for such a project.
The painting of the rocks was one of those experiences when you feel like something, someone else, is working through you. The words and phrases just came pouring out. It still feels that way to this day when I sit down to paint the Rock My World rocks.
Once I had a pile of these lovely rocks, all varnished and full of love, the question came "What do I do with them now ?" The answer came quickly "Go and give them away. Get out of your own head. Do something for someone else." That was the day that the Rock Fairy was born.
I walked to the park and started leaving the rocks on benches. The thing that was filling me up with each rock I left was the thought that my little act of leaving that rock behind was like giving kindness and love to someone else...without expectations, without a need to be recognized, just giving and connecting to someone at a heart level. The giving of that little extra bit of love was filling me back up in return - it was making me feel like I had a purpose in this life. My purpose is to connect to others in love and kindness. I have shared many stories here of how these little bits of love have allowed me to connect to people from all over. They have allowed me to know that I am not alone and that we are all in this together. Those rocks have really made my world better in more ways than I could ever describe to you...”
The actual title “Rock Fairy” was given to me my dear blog pal, Michelle Ward, who called me that when she read about the Rock My Work Project on the blog. The nickname has kind of stuck after over two years of giving away these rocks of love. I now also sell the rocks through my etsy shop and in Patti Digh’s online store, and some of the proceeds go to giving big batches out for free to some great people who help me spread the Rock My World love.
I know that spirituality is a big part of your life, How do you think this is reflected in your art, in your daily life?
About the same time I discovered that art was essential to my life, I also discovered the life mantra that I have now chosen to do my very best to live my life by. That mantra is “Love is the answer to every question.”
That mantra comes through in most of my art, the symbols of hearts, words and quotes about love, angels and angel wings, and also the quest to real find self-love.
It is also how I choose things in my life. I try and ask myself “How can love be applied here?” or “Is this decision based in love or fear?” Coming back to LOVE has made my life so much better, my relationships with others better, and improved how I feel about myself too! For me, Love is what the world needs more of, in every situation, and I have kind of made it one of my main purposes in life to surround myself with it, to radiate it and to share it wherever I can. Love is the answer. This I know.
I know you have attended Art retreats like Squam. How do you think they have affected your growth as an Artist?
I have been luck enough to attend the Squam Art Workshops in Holderness, NH as well as a week-long workshop with Anne Bagby and Lynne Perella. Last year I spent a week in Cape Cod with a group of fellow artist women friends. This winter, I was invited to Florida to meet some fellow photographers and artists in the flesh for the first time in Seaside/Watercolor. I have made a commitment to do something to support my artistic growth and my artistic well-being at least every two years. I raise the funds for these art adventures through selling my art, with some of the proceeds from selling my Rock My World rocks, and with selling my more crafty types pieces at craft fairs now and then.I think it is wonderful to spend time with like-minded women and with other artists who share themselves and their techniques and knowledge so generously. I also really value my artist friends in my on-line community as well. I have received so much support, encouragement and understanding from teachers, other participants and friends along the way that have made me a strong and more motivated artist. Artists really do have such a special community and retreats, classes and blogging really are a great way to feel a part of that community.
I know you have great support for your art from your husband David. How important has that been to you?
David is my best friend, and my greatest cheerleader. He always wants to see me happy and fulfilled. He reads my blog every day, “knows” my blog friends, and supports my desire to be an artist and to be a part of the on-line artist community as well. He encourages me to take chances, to go out and meet new blog and art friends, and basically gives this Queen the wings she need to fly. It means a lot to me to have him in my corner, supporting me, encouraging me and loving me through my life. I am a very blessed wife.
Do you ever get creatively blocked? Would you share what you’ve done to move beyond those blocks?
I think that being blocked occasionally or slowing down is all a part of the creative life. The ebbs and flows get scary for artists because we fear losing that ability to express ourselves. But I think it will always return in some form.
Since I am often more about the process of creating rather than the end product, these blocks don’t bother me so much anymore. But when I do feel the juices are kind of stagnant, I will tend to turn back to basic artful playing. Slapping paint on the page, taking out stencils and stamps and making my own “painted papers, that will end up in later collage pieces. Or I may read the latest mixed media art book out on the shelves and try out some techniques from another artist. So far, I have to say, that the blocks don’t last long for me. Maybe because I have learned that creating just feels so damn good, in whatever form it takes !
Do you have anything else you’d like to share? Where can people find you?
I would like to thank you, Kate, for your friendship and your encouragement. And for letting me share a little bit more about myself here. You are a wonderful member of the blog community that I love so much.
People can come and hang out with this Rock Fairy, Queen of Arts Chickie at my blog Queen-of-Arts.blogspot.com
Big Love, Beautiful Ones.